League play

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, March 18, 2014

All three prep baseball teams in Pearl River County begin district action today.

And each of those teams warmed up for league play with wins over the weekend.

Picayune, Pearl River Central and Poplarville all are in action to mark the start of their respective chase for a state playoff berth.

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The Maroon Tide is coming off a 4-1 win over visiting Hancock Saturday afternoon. A doubleheader was scheduled, but the second game was cancelled due to inclement weather.

Chandler Hamrick picked up the win for Picayune, going the distance and allowing nine hits, striking out five and walking three.

Hamrick also helped himself at the plate, with a double and an RBI. Marvin Van Buren added a run scoring single, and Devin Hedgepeth drove in a run as well. Kyle Dillard collected a pair of hits and scored a run also in the winning effort.

Picayune is 4-2, and travels to Long Beach to begin Region 7-5A play tonight.

• Meanwhile, Pearl River Central hosts Natchez tonight at 5 p.m., to start Region 5-5A action.

The Blue Devils beat Stone County 6-0 Friday night in extra innings and then split a pair of games on the road with West Harrison Saturday.

On Friday, PRC’s Dylan Spiers and Stone’s Peyton Owen engaged in an old fashioned pitching duel for seven scoreless innings, each pitcher giving up three hits before giving way to relievers.

In the top half of the eighth, Jake Scheuerman and Mason Songy led off the inning with walks for PRC. Zach Evans laid down a sacrifice bunt, and when the Tomcat fielder got to the ball the ball he attempted to get the force at third only to have the ball sail all the way to the Stone bullpen down the left field line scoring two and leaving Evans at third with none out.

After a walk and a steal to put runners on second and third, Jeshua Lee got his second hit of the game driving in the third run. A Dylan Spiers bunt single brought in the fourth run. A passed ball and Scheuerman sacrifice fly scored the fifth and sixth runs for PRC.

Cody Miller pitched a scoreless frame for the Blue Devils, securing the win for Spiers which was his 22nd career victory. Spiers pitched seven allowing three hits and striking out seven.

On Saturday, the Blue Devils rallied for an 8-7 win in the opener against the Hurricanes before falling 2-0 in the second game.

In the win, Wesley Mitchell picked up his first career varsity win in his first ever varsity appearance as he pitched almost four innings in relief of Blake Caruso before giving way to Chance Putnam who pitched a scoreless seventh for the save.

PRC struck first in the first inning when Christian Travis scored on a Dylan Spiers bunt down the third base line which was misplayed by the Hurricanes.

After West Harrison scored five times in the second on just one hit, two walks, and two errors, PRC would score another in the third when Christian Smith led off the inning with a double and scored on a Jeshua Lee single to left.

West Harrison would score lone unearned runs in the fifth and sixth when PRC made three of their five errors of the game.

With the score 7-2 in the seventh, PRC led off with a Wesley Mitchell single to center followed by an error by West Harrison to put runners on first and second. Back to back walks by Smith and Lee made the score 7-3.

With one out and the bases loaded, Spiers slapped a two-run single to make it 7-5. After a fly out and a Dylan Ingram walk to load the bases again, Chance Putnam cleared the bases and put PRC ahead with a three run double down the left field line.

Putnam then came in the seventh inning and retired all three batters he faced for the save.

In game two, Cody Miller picked up his first loss of the year while pitching a complete game. Miller has given up one earned run in 18 innings this year to go with 19 strikeouts and just a pair walks.

The Blue Devils were without eight players due to the prom, and picked up just two hits in the loss.

PRC is now 7-2.

• Also, Poplarville picked up a pair of wins, one on Friday and another Saturday, as the Hornets prepared to host Moss Point tonight to open Region 8-4A play.

Poplarville beat Lumberton 14-4 Friday night. Blake Ladner picked up the win, striking out five and allowing just one hit in three innings while Brandon Spiers finished up the game.

The Hornets recorded 16 hits in the win, led by Luke Goodwin who went four-for-four and drove in three runs in his first game of the year. Brandon Spiers had a pair of triples in the win, and drove in four runs as well.

Jake Smith had a pair of hits and a pair of RBI’s, while Ladner and Austin Henson each had a pair of singles apiece. Henson and Justin Oliver both drove in a run as well.

On Saturday, the Hornets stopped visiting Stone County 7-4. The teams were slated to play a doubleheader, but the second game was cancelled due to inclement weather.

Hayden Freeman picked up the win, with just over six innings of work. He struck out eight and walked just one, while scattering four hits. Chance Seals picked up a save.

Goodwin again paced Poplarville, with three hits including a two-run double. Jake Smith and Tyler Welch each had a pair of hits and drove in a run, while Justin Oliver drove in two runs as well. Spiers had an RBI-single as well.

Poplarville stands 2-4 overall entering tonight’s game against the visiting Tigers.